If you think the Texas Rangers players are competitive on the baseball field, you should see them compete in games like Fielder’s Feud and Minute to Win It. These overgrown boys took to the stage recently to raise money for charity and fans laughed until their sides ached.
The 14th Annual Park Place Dealerships Texas Rangers Triple Play Game Show Spectacular, held recently at the Hilton Anatole Dallas, raised more than $675,000 for the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which supports numerous initiatives including the construction of the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex in West Dallas.
“Park Place Dealerships and the Texas Rangers developed this fun event in 2002 as a way to connect fans with the players and coaches while raising money for a great cause,” said Rob Sumner, Park Place Dealerships’ director of marketing. “The event has grown every year which allows more funds to be returned to community projects. Watching these guys cut up and tease each other on stage during the game shows is a lot of fun. Their true personalities really come out. These guys are fiercely competitive but it’s all in good-natured fun.”
The game show fun started with "Minute to Win It," which featured four teams of two Ranger players competing in several rounds of silly parlor games. The loser of each round was eliminated until there was only one team remaining. The teams consisted of Derek Holland with A.J. Griffin; Martin Perez - Robinson Chirinos; Prince Fielder - Bryan Holaday; and Shawn Tolleson with Colby Lewis.
In the first round, each player put a sweatband around his head with a Slinky attached. The object of the game was to balance the toy on their foreheads without using their hands. Just imagine professional baseball players flailing about with Slinkys flying all over their face and head. I’m not sure who was laughing harder: fans or the other players and coaches sitting at tables with the fans.
Do you remember the “Coneheads” from the late 1970s episodes of Saturday Night Live? The second round of games at Triple Play had one player on each team don a conehead cap while his partner tossed a ring across the stage in an attempt to ring the conehead. Colby Lewis and Shawn Tolleson easily won this round, demonstrating that pitching skills come in handy off the field as well.
The final round involved trying to flip a small rubber ball into a net that was strapped to the player’s hip. Fox Southwest Sports announcers Emily Jones and John Radigan, who acted as the evening’s emcees, joked about Colby Lewis having an advantage with his new bionic hip. Indeed, Lewis and Tolleson were the final victors.
In between game shows, the Texas Rangers rookies continued the tradition of dressing up and performing for fans, much to the delight of the veteran players. Rookies Tony Barnette, Joey Gallo, Jared Hoying, Nomar Mazara, Matt Bush and Luke Jackson dressed as members of the rock band KISS and pranced around the stage singing "Rock and Roll All Night." Don’t quit your day job, rookies.
The final game of the evening was the fan favorite "Fielder's Feud," a fun parody of the TV game show Family Feud, featuring infielders Rougned Odor, Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus competing against outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Ian Desmond, Drew Stubbs and Ryan Rua. The players had fun with good-natured ribbing during the game, including several references to Odor’s recent brush-up with Toronto’s Jose Bautista. The outfielders won and each received a mini trophy plus bragging rights for the year.
The event also had live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind auction items such as trips to see the Rangers play at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Colorado’s Coors Field, and Houston’s Minute Maid Park, private hitting and pitching lessons with current Rangers players, and many other exclusive Rangers experiences as well as a unique array of sports and entertainment memorabilia. Several of the trips, including one on the team plane and a separate trip on the owner’s plane, were so popular they were able to double sell them, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.
“The Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy will be a dream come true for boys and girls across North Texas,” said Karin Morris, executive director of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. “Currently under construction, the facility will provide a safe place for area children to play baseball and softball. In addition to year-round baseball and softball instruction, the Academy will host tournaments, coaching clinics, and skills camps. It will also give young people access to academic tutoring, college prep classes, college and career fairs, financial literacy and internship programs, and MLB industry alternative career workshops.”
The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need within our community, and provides funding for youth in crisis, youth health initiatives, youth baseball programs, and youth education.
Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,000 people and operates 18 full-service dealerships and three body shops. Park Place represents the following luxury brands: Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Infiniti, Volvo, smart, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, and Maserati. For more information about Park Place Dealerships, visit www.parkplace.com.